Sennheiser's PXC 450 noise-cancelling headphones claim to offer outstanding sound quality and optimum protection against ambient noise. At £299, they're aimed at a high-end consumer who's after terrific sound accuracy primarily when on the move, such as a business traveller -- and those who are comfortable wearing enormous 'phones in public. They're built to compete with the popular Bose QuietComfort range.
These are certainly among the most comfortable headphones we've seen in months. The luxury earcups are very comfortable to wear during long listening sessions and certainly feel less clammy than others of similar design. A little experimentation is required to get the best seal between the cups and your head, but your listening experience will be better as a result.
The single AAA battery resides inside the right-hand cup, and Sennheiser has done an excellent job of positioning the headphones' volume and noise-cancelling control buttons in an accessible place.
With the traveller in mind, the PXC 450s are foldable in two ingenious ways, the easiest of which makes it possible to flat-pack the headphones into the supplied hard case, which is about the size of three DVD cases.
Overall build quality is excellent. The attention to detail is also admirable, such as a small amount of rubber padding between the earcups and the brackets they're attached to.
The well-padded headband has a spine of tough aluminium, meaning it's incredibly comfortable but resilient to accidental damage.
The PXC 450s' useful TalkThrough feature can be activated with the touch of a button on the right-hand earcup. Automatically, music volume is lowered and voices around you are channelled into the headphones, allowing you to talk comfortably without removing them.